This post was written by Hatchet reporter Nathaniel Erwin.
A professor from Moscow said his nation is facing a “cold civil war” between its government and restless citizens, who are building a culture of protest from the ground up.
Artemy Troitsky, also a music-focused journalist and broadcaster, said Tuesday at the Elliot School of International Affairs that the protest movement is driven by musicians, artists and poets.
Pussy Riot, a feminist punk-rock band, used songs to protest against a Russian government “violated by corruption,” he said. The group often performed in public squares to taunt law enforcement officers, until two of the female rockers were arrested for “hooliganism on grounds of religious hatred” last February, curtailing the movement’s momentum. They were imprisoned in August with two-year sentences.
“While we were having fun, nothing happened, except for bad things,” Troitsky said.
The band’s cause has resonated in the U.S., with musicians like Madonna, Sting and Yoko Ono calling the singers’ treatment undeserved.
Troitsky, who has taught music journalism, called the protests reminiscent of Soviet opposition during the 1980s, though these protests have yet to spark any reforms in the government.
A ban on the group’s videos, deemed extremist by government officials, was upheld last month.